Did you know that the diet you follow can affect your exam performance?

During exams, along with a proper study schedule, you should also pay attention to what you eat or drink.
Nutritionists highlight the importance of healthy eating habits at this stressful time of exams. They say that the right food and drink can boost up your system, improve your alertness and sustain you through the long exam hours. The wrong dietary choices/plans can make you feel inactive, jittery, or burned out.
There is a connection between your food and brain. The more you utilize the brain the more you feel hungry. It is simply the exercise for the brain.
During exams, you tend to consume unhealthy food and smartly it is not a good diet during those stressful days. So you need to make your diet plan in such a way that increases your concentration level and regular naps.
A recent study done in Australia showed that a good, smart diet had increased literacy rates and numeric scores over the years. Most of the countries with a higher average IQ are the people which have inherited healthy food as a part of their day to day diet.

The following are some beneficial tips which you should follow during your exams:-

  • Ensure that you eat: Sometimes when you are nervous you skip your meals but you should take time at least to eat something. For the efficient use of your brain you should eat properly. If you will not eat then your mental focus will be on hunger not on your exams which will distract you. If you are not able to stomach the food then you can go for protein shake, smoothie.
  • Include brain-boosting food in your diet: Protein-rich foods can lead to greater mental alertness. Healthy food choices on exam day include eggs, nuts, yogurt, and cottage cheese. Good breakfast combinations might be whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, eggs and toast with jam, porridge, oatmeal, or sugar-free muesli.
  • Avoid brain-blocking foods: Stay away from foods made of white flour, such as cookies, cakes, and muffins, which require greater time and energy to digest. Also avoid foods that are high in sugar, such as chocolates, desserts, and candies. These make you feel sleepy and heavy.
  • Eat light meals: Do not eat much that you feel full, eat enough that you feel satisfy. If you take a big breakfast or lunch before an exam, you will feel drowsy and heavy. Your body energy will be focused on the digestive process rather than on providing your brain with the energy it needs to function efficiently. Instead, try a light lunch such as a salad with chicken or salmon.
  • Snack smartly: In some foreign countries, you are given a five- to ten-minute break in the middle of a long exam. You should carry along with you some healthy snacks, such as protein bars, trail mix, energy bars, almonds, walnuts, or fruit for times, to keep your energy high. Avoid chocolates or sweet treats as the energy high could be followed by an energy crash during your exam.

Some additional tips by Ambika Tyagi, a nutritionist :-

  • Many students have the habit of studying late at night, wishing to pack more information into their already drained brains, stop studying the night before your exam.
  • Plan a diet rich in omega-3 fats which are heart-protective and play an important role in memory, concentration, and calm depression. Sources of omega-3 fats in the diet are oily fish like salmon, tuna, seeds like flax, chia, melon seeds and sunflower.
  • Drink enough water before and during your exam. Dehydration can make you lose your concentration and lowers your energy.

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

~Albert Einstein

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